xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Chicago lawyer Stephen Diamond has filed about 100 lawsuits since 2002 against companies for failing to charge him sales tax on items he bought, earning himself about $500,000 in settlements and judgments, according to an October Wall Street Journal report. Diamond has exploited a law in Illinois that allows citizens to receive part of the proceeds from certain law violations, including from companies that might be authorized to collect sales tax on Internet purchases but have chosen not to because the law is not completely settled. (Tennessee and Virginia, which have similar laws, have amended them to prevent lawsuits like Diamond’s.)
Park Hyatt hotel maid Louise Kelsey, 58, testified in August in Melbourne, Australia, that she was kissed against her will in 2001 by a hotel guest (an Uruguayan soccer player in town for a World Cup match) and suffered a post-traumatic stress disorder that led to her being declared legally blind in 2002. Though a doctor for the defense derided it as “the most powerful kiss in history,” the hotel’s insurer agreed to its liability in October and said it would negotiate the money amount.
Lee Ka-wai filed a lawsuit in Hong Kong’s Small Claims Tribunal in September against the Rolex Corp., claiming intense psychological trauma from a rash she developed on her wrist after wearing the company’s US$3,800 Oyster Perpetual watch. Lee blames the rash on the label on the back of the watch, which Rolex says everyone knows must be removed after purchase but which Lee left on out of fear that removal would void the warranty.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or [email protected] or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.) NEWS OF THE WEIRD